Breath of the Wild DLC releases in two (ok, technically three) parts in 2017. One set of Breath of the Wild DLC is set for this summer, another DLC is set for release this holiday and both are covered by the official The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass. Nintendo has confirmed that the Breath of the Wild DLC coming this summer will offer a Cave of Trials challenge, hard mode and new map feature. The Winter DLC will be the real expansion adding a new original story and dungeon plus some extra challenges.
Breath of the Wild DLC: New Dungeon, New Story, Same Boring Village
Let’s talk the Winter DLC first. Having uncovered the entire map in my current playthrough of BotW , there is one spot that stands out as suspiciously detailed but relatively useless. Lurelin Village. Yes, it’s the site of one of the best rupee farming tricks in the game, but the coastal village contributes nothing to the main storyline and features only a few modest sidequests. Yet it’s a pretty active village with vendors and NPCs. But it feels more like one of BotW ’s many stables than it does a village on the level of Hateno or Kakariko. I think that changes with this holiday’s Breath of the Wild DLC.
Set aside the fact that it’s a village without purpose and look instead at locale. Situated on the edge of the map near lots of water, Lurelin Village offers the perfect spot for the time honored tradition of Open World RPG DLC launching at the fringe of the playable map. Whether it be a gate to another realm or an island that rises up out of the water, I think the DLC will give us a reason to care about Lurelin Village. And a new dungeon implies something on the level of a Divine Beast, so it’s easy to imagine a sea creature theme for a new one.
As far as “additional challenges” go this could be almost anything, so I’m going to hope and pray for a fishing mechanic. WHY IS THERE NO FISHING IN BREATH OF THE WILD?!? Along with petting dogs, this is one of a few key features Nintendo should’ve anticipated. I can’t be the only fan who desperately wants to fish and who would be willing to pay for it (hint hint Nintendo). Nintendo is big on goofy control stuff too, so slapping a fishing mechanic into the game that allows you to use motion controls feels like a natural fit.
What else can we expect from the Breath of the Wild DLC outlined in the Expansion Pass? A Twilight Princess throwback.
Breath of the Wild DLC: Cave of Trials Should Be Near Endless Fun
Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass owners get their first taste of DLC this summer, when Nintendo releases a Cave of Trials challenge, hard mode and an additional map feature. Let’s starts with the last thing first - map features. This could mean virtually anything from a territory to a fast travel system. My hope is that we see more home ownership/settlement building like in Tarrey Town. Setting up new towns on the map would qualify as a feature? It’s lofty and unlikely, but would be so great.
Hard mode will probably be just that: hard. Breath of the Wild already starts out pretty rough, but after taking a few dozen hours to adjust I feel like I’ve tamed the wilderness. If hard mode adds things like hunger and sleep to the cycle I’d be very interested. Making enemies more spongey or weapons more fragile won’t be as impactful. The true star of Breath of the Wild is the world itself; how it reacts to you and how it changes make for memorable moments early on.
And Nintendo can save the spongy enemies and horde mode hijinx for the Cave of Trials. Assuming it’s loosely based on the Cave of Ordeals from Twilight Princess , we can expect to see some kind of deep, deep (think like 50+ levels) cave with increasingly difficult enemies on each floor. Given the prolific amount of sub bosses scattered across Hyrule, it’s easy to see battles involving more than one Hinox or Molduga or Lynel. The combat in Breath of the Wild is nuanced enough to accommodate deep dungeon runs like this, too. I’ve yet to encounter anything in the game that would resemble an endurance test like this, either.
It’s an exciting year for Zelda fans. Let’s hope this first set of DLC isn’t the last because I never want this game to end.
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